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HomeDiplomacySun Cable Places Clean Energy Export Plans On Hold – The Diplomat

Sun Cable Places Clean Energy Export Plans On Hold – The Diplomat

Last year, renewable energy company Suncable Raised $150 million for an ambitious project to build a 12,000-hectare solar farm in Australia’s Northern Territory. The plan was to export the surplus power generated there to Singapore via a 4,200-kilometer submarine cable. That plan, which at the time was estimated to cost about $20 billion, has been put on hold for now, as does Sun Cable. entered into self-management Currently waiting for restructuring. This was reportedly due to disagreements among financial backers over whether the company was commercially viable.

In principle, Sun Cable’s idea has merit. Northern Australia is blessed with plentiful land and sunshine, and has built large-scale solar power plants to harness the surplus electricity generated there. It makes sense to export to countries facing Singapore is such a country, whose leadership has already set a policy roadmap to import about 4 gigawatts of low-carbon energy by 2035.

Sun Cable wanted to be one of the suppliers. In fact, the company was envisioned to become a major supplier of nearly half of Singapore’s clean energy imports in the coming decades. This is absolutely critical to the success of the venture, as no one would invest $20 billion in a project of this size and complexity without a guaranteed large market for the electricity produced and exported.

in a press release Announced self-management Sun Cable said the project is “50% oversubscribed to offtake interest in Singapore and has received a Letter of Intent of approximately 2.5GW against planned supply of approximately 1.75GW. ‘ claimed. No additional details were provided in the release, so it is not clear who signed the agreement or what the terms would be. However, an agreement is not the same as a contractual agreement.

Even then, the real goal is not just to grab a share of Singapore’s electricity market, but to use the island nation as an entry point and eventually expand into a wider region where electricity demand is booming. I always thought. Countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam are bloated. Eventually the project came to be called the Australia-Asia Powerlink instead of his Australia-Singapore Powerlink.I wrote At the time The idea faced an uphill battle, as countries like Indonesia are not very receptive to imports, especially energy imports.

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After all, Singapore apparently isn’t all that keen on importing clean energy from Australia, and it’s not worth at least 2 gigawatts. How would you know that?Mining industry magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, one of two Australian billionaires, made the project credible with his early backing. said so clearlySpeaking with Forrest at the recent World Economic Forum, CNN reported: [Forrest] what they don’t want [the cable]Mike Cannon-Brookes, another Australian billionaire who supports Sun Cable, disputed Forrest’s characterization.

But perhaps the most important role here is played by Singapore’s Energy Market Authority. It is the Department of Trade and Investment’s statutory commission charged with securing the country’s energy supply, including approving clean energy import transactions. Without EMA approval, Sun Cable has no chance of entering the Singapore market. Starting in 2021, the EMA will make two proposals from low-carbon energy producers, with a target of sourcing 4 gigawatts of clean energy imports (estimated at about 30% of the nation’s electricity supply) by 2035. I have issued a request. Sun Cable is one of them. About 30 companies submitted proposals.

So far, the EMA has moved forward in a cautious manner, Few trials and pilots We provide modest amounts of electricity (100 MW for each transaction) from clean energy producers in neighboring Indonesia, Malaysia and Laos. For now, it looks like the EMA is testing how the market will react while tweaking its regulatory architecture. His current call for proposals closes at the end of 2023, after which the pace and scale of approvals should accelerate.

What we can say now is that the EMA will utilize generators from different regions to produce clean water closer to home in order to spread risk and avoid over-reliance on a single provider. Sun Cable’s plan to supply almost half of Singapore’s clean energy imports by 2035 will be via a very ambitious submarine cable that will be very expensive to build. but it comes with a much higher and unnecessary level of risk. This is not to say Australia will never become a major supplier of clean energy to the region. But it doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon via this particular cable.



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